A History Of Rock And Roll, As Told Through 100 Riffs Selected By A Guitar Store Employee Who Really Likes Jack White


Here is a video put together by an employee of the Chicago Music Exchange that purports to tell the story of rock and roll in 100 guitar riffs, which the guy manages to do in a single take. (They’re not all perfect, but you try winding your fingers around the guitar parts for “Hot For Teacher” and “Thunderstruck” in a single go. Right.) As with any “here is the grand story of this somewhat large idea” project, there are quite a few narratives that unfurl in this video’s 12 minutes; you can sort of watch the guy go from learning about rock and roll from classic-rock radio and MTV to reading blogs, or at least lifestyle publications that would never sully themselves with uncool things like rap-rock. More observations below.

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Women (Heart and St. Vincent (!) are in there, but for the most part it’s a boys’ clubhouse); rap-rock (surely the riff from “Nookie” is as notable as the one from the Shins song that’s stuck in there near the end?); anything dancey (um, hello, Chic??); the sort of post-post-grunge that gets played at strip clubs all the time; Iron Maiden; “Stairway To Heaven,” because this guy does work at a guitar store.

NOTABLE OVERSATURATIONS: Anything from Mötley Crüe’s Girls, Girls, Girls (yes, even the title track, which sounds like a bad coke binge come to life); the work of Jack White; Green Day. Well, maybe the Green Day dominance makes sense since they’ve been the dominant band of alt-rock radio for the past almost-20 years.

I BET I CAN TELL YOU WHAT SONG THIS GUY DOES AT KARAOKE: Hey, check out the Toadies’ “Possum Kingdom” at No. 79. DO YOU WANNA DIE???

OH THANKS FOR PUTTING THIS IN MY HEAD BTW: Santana’s “Smooth.” Goddammit.


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